Depression is classified as a mood disorder. Sadness, exhaustion, despair and lack of interest in things that were once a pleasure are situations that most people go through. When these fluctuations in the emotional sphere occur in isolated episodes can be a natural thing in a person’s life, but when these conditions persist for weeks or months and start affecting daily life, it could be a sign of clinical depression.

In its mildest form, depression can be only a feeling of melancholy – life can be lived within normal limits, but it makes everything harder to achieve and seem less useful, less interesting. In its severe form, depression can become life-threatening – leading to the person dealing with depression to face suicidal ideation, or simply to give up on the will to live – 60% of people with depression have suicidal thoughts, and 15% commit suicide.

Many people suffering from depression never seek help. But going through the recovery process alone is not a healthy alternative. Guide to Rehab connects you with therapists in the UK who are specialized in depression therapy. Getting help and learning coping techniques makes the recovery process much easier.

Signs and symptoms of depression

  • sadness for an extended period of time
  • inability to experience pleasure (anhedonia)
  • social withdrawal
  • lack of motivation, low frustration tolerance
  • neuro-vegetative signs: loss of libido, weight loss and anorexia, weight gain and hyperphagia, low energy levels, menstrual disorders, sleep disorders – both insomnia and hypersomnia, diurnal mood swings

Characteristics of depression

Clinical depression has several easily identifiable characteristics: persistent obstinate sadness, lack of energy for various daily activities, difficulty finding pleasure in these activities, and recurrent vegetative disturbances (eating, sleeping, control).

A major issue for a person living with depression is the inability to manage conflict. This inability can turn, in time, into self-hatred. Low self-esteem and self-hatred often begin in childhood, when bottling up negative emotions is the only way to cope with stressful situations. This toxic behaviour can cause the person with depression to develop feelings of guilt and sadness. The two are very often mistaken and are considered equivalent the majority of times. When these feelings persist for a long time, depression can take over.

Conditions that cause depression

Depression in early childhood

In the early relationship with parents, the lack of support and reassurance can further aid the possible development of depression in children. The ban on holding mourning in the family can also be a cause for depression. When dealing with such an emotional manifestation – as if sadness was dangerous, as if nothing had happened and no one was suffering, the child quickly learns to hide his vulnerabilities. Once the child starts to reveal his vulnerabilities, the adults who cannot express theirs will blame and even humiliate the one who can.

The combination of emotional abandonment and a critical attitude towards the child is very likely to generate a depressive dynamic, as it’s forcing the child to give up certain behaviours.

During therapy, most patients admit that they experienced repeated emotional hardships since early childhood. For example, one of the child’s first experiences with dearth is when they are being pressured by parents to give up breastfeeding before he or she is emotionally ready to do so.

Another very powerful factor that generates depressive dynamics is maternal depression. If the mother suffers from depression, no matter how much she wants the child to grow up well, she will fail at providing a good example for him and she will be unable to express her emotions in a healthy manner. This can lead to the child feeling guilty for his otherwise normal needs, needs that will tire and exhaust the parent living with depression.

The impact of early childhood depression in later life

As a result of such experiences, the person living with depression will consider himself to be essentially “bad”, and will believe that lust/greed, selfishness, competition, pride, anger, envy, pleasure are inherently destructive. The fact that they were rejected at one point turns into an unconscious belief that they deserved that rejection as a result of their wickedness. Trying hard to be “good” to avoid exposure as sinners can lead to loss of confidence and the development of the guilt complex. Any criticism, be it constructive, is devastating for the person with depression. This guilt complex can lead to the constant need to help others personally and socially in order to fill the inner emptiness.

Getting professional help for depression

Mental disorders can affect people regardless of age, culture or status. Mental illness is not the result of weakness, lack of character or poor education. Depression is treatable. Most people with depressive disorder may experience relief from symptoms by actively participating in an individualized treatment plan. On the Guide to Rehab platform, you can find therapists in the UK who have professional training of the highest standards.

Confidentiality is a very important issue for the specialists you find on Guide to Rehab, and you will always be treated with respect and dignity. Even those who suffer from severe depression can live life as naturally as possible following a suitable form of treatment. Nowadays, depression is a condition that can be treated with modern medication – recommended by a psychiatrist, along with psychotherapy sessions.